Eminent author and educationist Professor Zillur Rahman Siddiqui has died at 85.
The former caretaker government adviser passed on at Samorita Hospital in Dhaka’s Panthapath in the early hours of Wednesday.
An official at the private hospital told bdnews24.com by telephone that Siddiqui was brought to the hospital around 1am. “The doctors said he was brought dead there.”
Emergency department’s Dr Nurul Aktar Sumon told bdnews24.com: “When he was brought in, we rushed to the ambulance to check his vitals, but he was already dead.”
Asked about the cause of death, Sumon said it could be old-age complications. “But the reason cannot be determined until we run some tests,” he added.
Siddiqui, who won Bangladesh’s highest civilian award Swadhinata Padak (Independence Award) in 2010, has left his wife, three sons and a daughter.
Siddiqui was born at Durgapur in Jhenaidah on Feb 23, 1928. He attended Bankura and Jalpaiguri Zilla Schools and matriculated from Jessore Zilla School in 1945.
Later, he studied at Presidency College in Kolkata. He passed BA in 1950 and MA the following year in English Literature with First Class from Dhaka University.
His classmates in English Literature include late poet Shamsur Rahman, late former cabinet secretary Md Mujibul Haque and newspaper Daily Star’s founding editor SM Ali.
He studied English Literature at Worcester College of Oxford University from 1952-54.
Siddiqui taught at Dhaka College and then at Rajshahi University from 1988 to mid-1973. He then went on to teach at Jahangirnagar University and became the university’s Vice-Chancellor for two consecutive terms from 1976 to 1984.
He became the Vice-Chancellor of Gono Bishwabidyalay in 2000 and retired voluntarily in 2003.
Zillur Rahman Siddiqui was in charge of the education ministry when he served as an adviser to the caretaker government under Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed in 1990-91.
He has authored many books both in Bangla and English. He edited Purbamegha, a quarterly journal, and monthly Dipankar. He was the Editor of Bangla Academy English-Bengali Dictionary.
The educationist travelled to different countries in Asia, Europe and North America on academic, literary and cultural missions several times.
He has been honoured with ‘Alaol Sahitya Purashkar’ in 1977, ‘Bangla Academy Padak’ in 1979, ‘Kazi Mahbub Ullah Begum Zebunnisa Trust Award’ in 1990, ‘Alokto Sahitya Purashkar’ in 1998 and ‘MA Haque Swarna Padak’ in 2003.
Source: Bd news24